Hi friends and happy …. day whatever today is. Just kidding, I know it’s
Wednesday, Thursday. We arrived back to our little stone house Tuesday late afternoon, and boy, have I had a major case of the jet lags. I’ve done enough long-ish haul travel that I’ve developed some pretty strict rules from for myself (all stemming from one disastrous trip to Copenhagen many years ago, in which I managed to pretty much sleep through the vacation because of poorly managed jet lag). Overnight flight? Sleep as much as you can. Arrive. Stay up as long as humanly possible. Never go to bed before 7 pm local time. Never take naps.
And I broke all the rules traveling back. The trouble was, we arrived at Heathrow early in the morning on an overnight flight. But then had a long layover, another flight to Manchester, and an hour train ride home. So many opportunities for day sleeping. Then once we finally got home, I was still, as Mr. N might say, k-nacked. With (thankfully) no plans, I spent the whole evening trying to knit on the couch, but in reality just nodding off repeatedly. I slept in yesterday, and stayed up late (still on US time!) last night, and slept in again today. I’m all over the place! But I digress. This is not a post about jet lag.
This is a post about knitting and travel. In total, I reckon we spent about thirty hours on planes and trains during our trip … not counting time spent waiting for said planes and trains! Lots of time to knit. And to dream about knitting when I was too tired for actual knitting (which, on rare occasions, *does* happen.) Here’s what I’ve been working on:
I was in the rather unusual position of setting off on our journey with no knitting projects on the needles — just some wound yarn and a concerning number of metal circular needles which I hoped wouldn’t raise an eyebrow at airport security (they didn’t). On day 1, I cast on for a sleeve of my Stasis and a Bracken Beanie, a lovely hat that will be available soon from Jenni Barrett of Wool is My Bread (you can see her finished design in this post)
For the hat, I’m using some glorious Manx wool from Ardalanish Weavers, who are based on the Isle of Mull. I decided it’d be fun to use some leftover fingering weight wool to make a little brim lining. The Manx wool would be perfectly fine for me for next to skin wear, but I liked the way Long Dog Yarn leftovers from my Find Your Fade played with the warm brown. Sort of a 1970s vibe, right? And since finishing my Arctic Intentions cardigan, I want everything to have surprise pops of color!
It’s funny though, how things play out when you’re traveling. I had planned to mostly work on the scrummy cables of the Brakcen Beanie while traveling, figuring the fiddliness of Stasis, with its fingering weight color work, wouldn’t be quite the thing. But I kept having false starts (all user, not pattern generated) with the beanie, all involving choosing the right number of stitches to cast on for the lining, how best to do the decreases and turn for the lining, and figuring out the right needle size for it all. I love the hat so much, that I wanted to make sure I got it just right, so I spent more time than is perhaps all together healthy fussing over how the brim lining would all work, something that should have been pretty simple.
So I actually spent most of the flight time working on Stasis and catching up on podcasts, including new-to-me Mrs. M’s Curiosity Cabinet. I’d downloaded the two most recent episodes and as soon as I finished them regretted not having downloaded the whole back catalogue. Between podcasts and watching the delicate, lattice-like colorwork appear on my sleeve, I entertained myself practically the whole flight between Heathrow and Dulles!
Then, as I mentioned in my last post, I also cast on for some new socks with my mom for Christmas Eve Cast On. We always stay pretty busy through the holidays, so I was so glad we had a little bit of time to start a project together, one of my favorite things!
By the time we left my parents, I’d managed to complete both sleeve cuffs and colorwork on my Stasis and get them going two at a time — so they were pretty much my go to project while we were in Baltimore/DC last week as most of the knitting time I had was while catching up with friends — perfect to help get through the boredom of sleeve knitting!
And after a few more false starts (again, user error!) the hat I thought I’d pretty much complete on our outward journey is now nearing completion, courtesy of that pesky jet lag. I stayed up past 1 am working on this last night — the cables are totally addictive!
As much as I’m enjoying all three projects on my needles, I’ve also been scheming about what to cast on next. What is it about new year that makes me want to cast on *all the things* (who am I kidding, that’s how I always feel) There’s lots to consider, but foremost in my mind is what projects, in-progress and yet-to-be-started, I want to finish in time for EYF. As soon as I get a little more acclimated, I’m going to get very organized with my lovely knitting planner, which the lovely Kate sent me for my birthday last fall, (I’ve already dipped my toe, er, finger?, into using it and so far so good) and Ravelry’s challenge function to try to get my ideas all sorted out. But I already know what’s hopping on my needles next: the Vaara vest, which my wonderful mom got me a kit for for Christmas, and Kate Davies sensational Carbeth, which I’ve dug up some very old Rowan PureLife Chunky yarn for, and I’ll be casting on for a long distance KAL with my mom! I think I’ll let myself get started on one (or both!) as soon as I finish my Bracken … so, barring disaster!
Anyway, that brings things pretty up-to-date around here (though I’m still a bit behind responding to comments — that’ll happen tomorrow!) Are you casting on new projects for new year? Finishing up old ones? As always, thanks for spending a bit of your day here — especially on a day like today when I’m a bit scattered!